While attending the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show and the 2016 Detroit auto show, journalists were treated to a plethora of exciting new automobile technologies. Let’s take a look at some of the new things that we are told to expect before 2020.
- Autonomous Vehicle — Let’s get this one out of the way first. This refers to an “autonomous vehicle”, a vehicle that will drive itself but still will have a human driver inside. It will be many more years before “fully autonomous vehicles” without humans are roaming around the roadways. But by 2020 we’ll have cars and trucks capable of being regular autonomous, most likely rural interstates. Even with these limitations, this should be a big boon for the trucking industry.
- Driver Override Systems — This is technology that actively disregards your commands and makes its own decisions. We’ve already got cars that will stop if you fail to apply the brakes. But by 2020 cars will have cars making all sorts of decisions for you. Don’t worry, though; it’s all in the name of safety.
- Biometric Vehicle Access — You’ve seen the switch from keys to keyless entry and start. Soon you’ll be able to unlock and start your car without anything more than your fingerprint.
- Comprehensive Vehicle Tracking — Insurance companies are already talking about fees based on how many miles a person drives. After all, less mileage means less risk for them. By 2020 insurance companies will offer a reduced rate for drivers that agree to full tracking of their behavior. Note to Big Brother: they will likely look at driving patterns too when setting your insurance rate.
- Active Window Displays — Kayser of Watertown, WI reminds us that Heads-Up Display (HUD) technology has come a long way from the technology of a decade ago. By 2020 we’ll see active glass displays capable of displaying vibrant images. Imagine a GPS navigation system that actually highlights the next turn as you approach it.
- Remote Vehicle Shutdown — This technology already exists with General Motor’s OnStar system. By 2020 remote vehicle shutdown will probably be available on all vehicles sold in the US. This should be a boon for law enforcement and will eliminate dangerous high speed chases.
- Active Health Monitoring — Ready for this? Ford has previewed the idea of seatbelt or steering wheel sensors that track vital body statistics, such as heart rate and other parameters while you drive. Combine this with basic autonomous technology and you’ve got a car that can pull over and call EMTs when a driver has a heart attack or passes out.
- Personalized In-Car Marketing — You’re already getting Facebook, Twitter and Gmail ads based on your behavior. By 2020, you know the average car will be fully connected to the internet, meaning your vehicle will provide marketers with a powerful tools, like your infotainment system, to customize their message right to you.